Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Leaving the Nest

 About a month ago I started a new patchwork venture in hopes it would provide me with the opportunity to do some mindless sewing. It did, until the project took on a life of its' own. That seems to happen frequently!

It began with the blocks I was calling Butterflies.

Which I then surrounded with Flying Geese.

I chose to use more four patch blocks for corner stones.

And decided that was sufficient.

At this point the top will finish at about 48" x 54." It seems small to me but in reality will make a wonderful lap quilt or even a child's quilt. There wasn't much incentive to try to make it any larger anyway. It was about this time that Kate over in Chiconia, Australia posted about the quilty items she was working on to be raffle prizes for a very worthy cause. I contacted her about the possibility of sending her the top to be finished over there and added to the raffle. She was enthusiastic. ๐Ÿ˜

I hesitated to offer up a finished quilt due to the recent increase in shipping costs. Kate was more than willing to do the quilting and binding herself, for which I am grateful. We finally sent the flimsy off today (with some extra fabric for the binding). Let me just say that I'm glad we didn't have the extra weight and bulk of a finished quilt to send overseas. It cost well more than three times what I was accustomed to paying to mail a handful of patchwork blocks over the oceans. Yikes! Even so, I know the money was spent for a good cause and am pleased to be able to contribute. 

On an entirely unrelated note Blogger, in its' finite wisdom, has changed up the formatting for composing blog posts. It now requires seven steps to add a photo to my text. That may not be more than one or two more clicks than was required in the past but it's enough to make the process that much more annoying to my impatient soul. ๐Ÿคจ 

And now I get to come up with another mindless sewing project...

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Back to #12Pages

You may or may not remember that I participated in a challenge of sorts at the tail end of 2020. It was my version of Anne Brooke's sew4thesoul #12pagesofChristmas on her YouTube channel. When Anne finished her pages she decided to go back through and add tags to the backside of most of them. They did look pretty blank given the way we constructed the book. 

The original idea was to make a cover for the book out of a piece of quilt or other textile and then store it in a tin. We'd chosen our tins at the beginning of the challenge. I don't know how many of the books actually fit into their tins after they'd been fully fleshed out. Anne's didn't, nor did mine! 

 My tin had a depth of about an inch and a half.

My book, nearly complete now, measures a generous two inches thick! I hadn't touched it in months. I guess tags just didn't appeal to me the way Anne made hers. But I have recently learned about "clusters" from various mixed media artists on YouTube and have been experimenting with that idea.

I wasn't sure what to do about a cover for my book for the longest time either. The whole concept of textile books and bookbinding is still relatively new to me. One of the things I picked up in a Disabled Artists Foundations auction was a short stack of fabrics from India. I chose one to use to make a wrap for my book and sari strips to secure the wrap.

The book pages not secured within the wrap. That probably won't happen because it doesn't bother me to have them separate. 

I have toyed with the idea of decorating the interior of the wrap. Maybe adding a pocket or something. It occurs to me now that I could write directly on the quilting cotton I used to line the Indian fabric (mystery fiber content). Hmm...

There are a couple of pages that don't have clusters or tags on the back yet. I'll probably add a little something to them eventually. I'm getting the hang of working a little bit at a time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Friday, April 15, 2022

Scrap Happy in April

I'm also happy to report that I've been doing enough sewing lately that I've been able to assemble assorted scrap blocks between seams of major projects. These two lego blocks for starters...

They will finish at 12" when I get around to using them in a quilt. 

I've also made these three 15" Scrappy Trip blocks.

But the main event, for this post at least, is the Parts Department Quilt (PDQ) I've been building. When last you saw it last month it looked like this:

I had to turn it 90* to keep it fitting on my design wall. That's when I added the 8" stars to either short end.

Next I tried some Scrappy Trip blocks.

They were too big, too busy. Overwhelming. That's when the lego blocks came out.

I needed some compensating strips to make them fit however.

I decided to keep to the theme and just use a variety of scrap strips. Then I put on the lego blocks.

At this point the top would finish at about 60" square. That felt big enough, either for a child or a lap quilt for an adult. I stay-stitched the perimeter and will let the binding be the final frame. Still have to come up with a back for it but haven't had that kind of energy yet. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Scrap Happy Day is open to anyone who wants to share how they are using or repurposing scrap materials. Participants span the globe, everyone posting on the 15th of the month in their own time zone. Not everyone posts every month but their blogs are certainly worth a visit any day of the month!

KateGun, Eva, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Cathy,  Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule, Gwen,
Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L, Vera,
Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Bear, Viv,
Preeti, Edith, Debbierose, Carol

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Just Because

I've been chasing another squirrel around the studio. 

Susan Taylor Brown is one of the artists I've been watching on YouTube recently. I appreciate her attitude toward creativity. It's often the very boost I need. Or just enough to keep me from sinking further into the dark abyss reactions to toxins can cause.  Recently she has provided a new focus for my slow stitching or embroidery endeavors. She calls them Just Because books. She happens to love texture as much as anything else but the idea behind Just Because books is that you do whatever makes you happy in one. It may seem odd, but this is a real struggle for me, doing something just because I enjoy it. I prefer to have a purpose for my making. 

I have always loved books so the idea of a textile book really appeals. I've wanted to try my hand at one for some time. That first step is always the hardest! I'm dipping my toes in the water by playing along with Susan and her #BW JustBecauseBook challenge. I have mostly white scraps and trims for the pages of my book so far. I suspect my book will be primarily black on white as my eyes have matured to the point where black on black makes it hard to tell where my needle needs to go. I've started two spreads so far:

And I just received an order of yardage that included a print I want very much to include in my book. ๐Ÿ˜

It's a print from Riley Blake's Goose Tales line, Three Blind Mice. I have some skeletal fish somewhere too...

This gives me something to do inbetween rotary cutting and piecing. I still have tendonitis (I'm assuming) in my left elbow but it has improved. Rotary cutting does not help that situation though. The carpal tunnel issue in my right (dominant) hand and forearm has improved as well but still makes its' presence known. So it's slower going these days but at least I'm still going!